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Byline: Hilary Joffe
Budget Economic policy in starring role on day of few surprises IT WAS the kind of speech last week's state of the nation address should have been. Carefully crafted, with some Obama-esque touches, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's first budget speech was uplifting and easy to listen to.
But the budget itself was almost the supporting act; it was economic policy that had the starring role. And at Gordhan's press conference yesterday morning, you would have been forgiven for wondering whether you were at a policy conference or a budget briefing. He zeroed straight in on his time for action on the economy theme. He said youth unemployment was the primary challenge and we needed a new growth path that would ensure we could deliver on jobs. He appealed to all South Africans to become part of the discussion on SA's economic issues.
In his speech he identified the key dimensions of our transformation challenge: that, first, one in four adults, and almost half of SA's young people, are unemployed; and, second, that income inequality is among the world's highest, with half the population surviving on …